Hi from UK

Discussion in 'Introductions & Bike Garage' started by Tisme, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    I've shared some good times with John Harris over the years. From pestering as a teenager with non paying jobs on my string of 2t mopeds, to going to bike shows and sharing a few beers with him. One of life's good guys. :)

    The day that I met Joey, he was indeed heading off to Johns place. They had just returned from I think Belgium, and had just had all of their kit stolen.

    I raced with Bemsee in 94-95. I generally used to finish about 18th out of a 42 bike field. I came close to a third spot on the podium though during my first race at Lydden Hill. I had never been to the circuit before and never ridden a 4 stroke before. I locked the back end of the bike up at the bottom hairpin, on the second lap and slide from about 20th to third in one corner scattering people everywhere! No one came off and I held the spot until the last lap when once again I locked the back end up under engine braking. I wasn't so lucky that time, binned the bike and had a trip to hospital, where they then cut my leathers off.
    Actually it did all have a funny side, as in the bed next to me, was racer than only had one arm. He was bloody good as well! He forgot to tell them about his missing arm, so when the nurse came in she almost screamed with panic! It was pure class. :D

    Ron, as for the history of ports and ships, you won't be disappointed in that respect. :)

    Edit... This thread has really brought back some memories.

    I haven't even looked at a bike race in the last 11 years, but just looked at Youtube clips of Bemsee MRO Lydden hill and Brands. Talk about bringing things back.
    I'd forgotten about the sweat that would build whilst waiting in the holding area, the usual wait to clear the track after you have just watched a rider from the preceding race highside at clearways. Oddly you never really gave any thought to that poor rider, just the inconvenience that he had just caused you, as your tyres started to cool down and you began to feel very hot. I guess that is being focussed on what you are there to do. Then once the mess is cleared and the lovely lady/marshal has touched your helmet as you passed by, which was a tradition that all respected, it was time to peel off to your start position. I had forgotten about just how the nerves get to you, and like many in the clips, you miss or simply forget your start position.
    then it is time, and you sit waiting hardly breathing, not daring to look sideways at anyone else, but there is consciousness of those standing in the pit lane watching and the family and friends sitting in the stands.
    Then the flag goes for the warm up lap, and the nerves vanish for just a second. Get back to the start and once again at least one person would have missed their position, and another will suddenly raise a hand as the flags are raised and the engines go to full chat. I was once one of those riders frantically waving to get attention, when my clutch suddenly started to fail. I can tell you that a start line crash fills every rider with dread, and in the short time that I raced, two were killed in separate race incidents on a start line.
    The lights go green and that is it, my favourite part of the whole race, the first lap and first corner. The buzz that the first corner gives is just unreal, and somehow made even better if you happen to touch or knock into someone. Very odd.
    As the race progresses, everyone seems to fall into their natural ranking, and many little private battles are fought. I can remember countless battles between myself and my mate, as we were both of exactly the same standard, and he would win one of our private races, and I would win the next. I even recall keeping out on the grass in one race, and him trying to reach my kill switch. :)
    Watching those clips, gave me very sweaty hands and a racing heart. The one thing that I don't miss though from the GP250 class is the smell of AVGAS. I used to nearly puke inside of my helmet when on the start line, and my eyes would run with the toxic fumes. That aspect I don't miss. I certainly miss the people that race though and the pit banter that went along with it.

    One race that really does stand out is a charity race that was held unexpectedly at the end of the day. It was multi class race so all bikes were allowed, and was based upon a handicap system, so slowest riders at the front with X amount of seconds head start, and it was sup to the fastest riders to catch up. The rider that caught me up, and undertook me in a gap that I hadn't even left, was one Danny Webb. :) Even way back then he was bloody fast and gifted.
    I can't remember where I finished, but I do know that I did okay and might have even beaten Danny. The reason being was that the race director decided to trick everyone by throwing in a few extra laps. Extra laps that made many of the bikes run out of fuel! :D
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  2. Tisme

    Tisme New Member

    It's a small world. I know Dannys dad Jimmy and sponsored ( with a few bits) both James and Danny when they were 5 or 6 years old racing mini bikes.
    Oh I could go on about racing but the older I get the better I was ;0 )
    EddieJ likes this.
  3. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    That's interesting, I wasn't sure if my memory had been slipping, so Danny did have a brother?

    In that handicap race I felt sure that I was in in middle of a Webb sandwich with both riders on 125's., but memory plays tricks.

    One things for sure, I was never fast. :) Looking at the Bemsee clips for the 2016 I wonder just how long that things will carry on. In the seventies and eighties the grand stand and track was always rammed with spectators, and over the years the number decreased. Looking at the 2016 season, there aren't any! I wonder what has changed?

    Just out of interest, you didn't used to work at Blindley Heath?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  4. RoyL

    RoyL Active Member

    Ah, Joey Dunlop a true Legend and a Gentleman



    Joey was awarded the M.B.E. in 1986 for his services to the sport, and in 1996 he was awarded the O.B.E. for his humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages. Joey Dunlop would often load up his race transporter and deliver clothing and food to the trouble spots of Bosnia and Romania. His humanitarian work was done without drawing attention to himself.

    In January 2015, Joey was voted Northern Ireland's Greatest Ever Sports Star
    Tisme likes this.
  5. Tisme

    Tisme New Member

    No I worked at lots of m/c places but not there. James webb ran in the British superbikes and possibly world for a while. When I done it it was the British F1
  6. piper109

    piper109 Active Member

    While you are in Southampton, take a boat ride to Hythe, visit the neat Motor museum in Beaulieu Abbey. Lots of great rides in the New Forest, Brockenhurst etc, wild ponies everywhere.

    RITIREDVET New Member

    Hey piper,
    I looked up all those places you told me about.Everything looks so interesting,Beaulieu Abbey,Hythe,and the motor museum,and I'll watch out for the wild ponies!Thanks much for the info.